Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . .(2) 4
Mozambique . . . . . . . . . .0
Striker Rufaro Machingura struck a brace to help the Zimbabwe national women’s Under-20 football team breeze past Mozambique in a Fifa Under-20 World Cup first round first leg qualifier at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
But the striker soured her return to international duty when she was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident late in the second half and she will miss the return leg in Maputo.
That was not before she had ensured a perfect start for the Young Mighty Warriors opening the floodgates just two minutes into the game as she toe-poked the ball past the visitors’ goalkeeper Laura Joaquin before her powerful header 10 minutes into the second half sealed off a comfortable win for the hosts.
In between, Elizabeth Chaparangana’s deft flick in the 37th minute beat the stranded Joaquin before Emmaculate Msipa’s left-footed volley in the 51st minute made sure the Mighty Warriors would carry a healthy advantage going into the return leg.
The team had a comfortable afternoon controlling the game and with better finishing they could have won by a bigger margin.
Coach Langton Giwa said he was impressed with his team’s performance and was now looking beyond the first round.
“We have put ourselves in a good position; I don’t think Mozambique will recover from this. We now have to work to improve from what we saw today.
The team started slowly but picked up in the second half. They played according to plan but I want to believe we could have scored more goals,” said Giwa.
On Machingura’s red card, he said, “I didn’t see the infringement but the referee is the one who has the final say and we can’t do anything about it. It’s a blow for us because her experience was going to be useful in the coming rounds when the competition will be a bit tougher but we have some capable replacements who can come in and do the job.”
Mozambique coach Felizarda Malache admitted it would be a tall order for his side to overturn the deficit at home in two weeks.
“I want to congratulate Zimbabwe for playing good football; they were a better side today. But I am also happy with my team’s performance because it’s a new team and most of the players were playing an international game for the first time. I hope we will win at home but it will be very difficult to score five goals to win the tie,” said Malache.